Friday, July 22, 2016

Almost NO SEW Outdoor Box Cushion and Tablecloth

A trip to the fabric store is always one of the best ways for me to get inspired.

I found this fabric in the $5 a yard bin.
It has a monkey motif!
I love monkeys!

Since 2016 is the Year of the Monkey, it was the perfect fabric to inspire one of my "almost NO SEW" projects.

In fact, why stop at one project?

If one is good....two is better!

These two projects are the perfect color boost for the deck.
The furniture on the deck is pretty and taupe.
The greenery is sometimes a little overwhelming.
The flowers this year are nice, but they need a punch of color.

Almost No Sew Weighted Tablecloth

The table has a glass top that always gets water spotted.
I cut the fabric one inch bigger than the glass.
Then I did a simple hem.
If you want to make this "totally" NO SEW, you could use fusible iron on webbing to secure the hem.
But here is the tricky little thing that makes the table cloth stay in place.
Every 6 inches there is a little washer sewn into the hem.
This keeps the cloth weighted enough to stay flat even on the windiest afternoon!
The total time for this....about 45 minutes!

 Almost NO SEW Box Cushion
Would you believe that this cushion was done in less than an hour?
(I had a piece of foam that needed an update, but you can have one cut at the fabric store to just the size you need)
Well, if you can wrap a gift box, you can cover a foam cushion!
I used the sewing machine to make a tube that was the exact width of the foam.
If you don't want to could even use your glue gun to close the long edge.

Just tuck the fabric in like you were wrapping a present....

I used a needle to hand sew these edges....but the glue gun or fusible web would work too.

Not bad for a couple of hours and less than $15 dollars.

If you want more complete directions and want some more inspiration, here are a couple of links to my tutorials for the no sew cushion technique.



If you are like I don't want to spend buckets of money on custom cushions....
Outdoor cushions have a limited life span....and being able to change them in an inexpensive way just seems smart!


Have a Wonderful Day!

Linking to:
Sunny Simple Life
Eclectic Red Barn   
Stone Cottage Adventures
Funky Polka Dot Giraffe 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dollar Store Craft WITH Caffiene!

The perfect combination!
I wouldn't say that I am addicted to crafting...well maybe a little obsessed...not addicted!
I would have to admit that I am addicted to coffee.
The aroma...
The taste...
The warmth...
The BUZZ... 
It is all good!

There are some things you can do with coffee besides drinking it!

How simple to make aromatic candles using coffee beans and votives.

Put some coffee beans in a pretty glass, vase or funny coffee cup to make a pencil holder.

When you pick up a pencil, you get a little hint of coffee aroma!

Funny story....I used to do this for the coffee holders in the Media Center.

Great idea....until...I got a phone call from a parent informing me that some of the kids were EATING the beans to get a caffeine buzz!


This is a wreath I saw hanging on the door of a coffee shop in New Orleans this winter.
I took the picture thinking, "I could make one of these!"

It took me seven months to finally get around to doing it!

A dollar store foam wreath is the base. 

This burlap ribbon was another find at the dollar store.

 The ribbon is wrapped around the foam base to make sure none of the green would show through.

No coffee related project should happen WITHOUT a cup of coffee.
Trusty glue gun heated up....
Coffee beans at hand....
It is just a matter of gluing those babies on.....

So I glued and glued and glued!

I have to admit...
This took a little longer than I had hoped! fingers ended up dark brown with a few glue gun burns.

In fact...I did this over the course of a couple of days!

No one ever accused me of having a long attention span!

ESPECIALLY when I am drinking coffee!

Perserverance paid off!
With a burlap bow and a favorite coffee quote, this little craft turned out well.

I was hoping the wreath would give off a bit of aroma.
It doesn't!
I was hoping that the project would lend itself to a "gift project".
But I know I won't have the patience to do this again.
So my friends....if you want one of will have to make it yourself!

Have A Wonderful Day!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Good Will Bargain!

I was shopping at the thrift store the other day!  Now why does that NOT surprise you?
These three white ceramic vases on a white plate were a good buy and reminded me of something similar I had seen in a boutique. 

Boutique version.....I think this ran somewhere in the neighborhood of $40.

Sweetwater Thrift Version

Just perfect for single blooms from the garden!

I found a board book for the Sweetwater Grandboy...$.99!

The absolute perfect piece of furniture for a Media Console in the family room!

I had been searching consignment stores and Craig's List for a dresser to rehab...and those were all running in the $200 range before the rehab!
So when I saw this...I did a double take....and then a little happy dance! 

Now....I did have to go through the thrift store angst before I actually made the purchase.

To BUY or NOT to BUY?

I mean was marked at $25.00!  (and I had a 25% off coupon too) last lunch with a friend cost more than that.

Still, I was flip flopping about spending ALL that money!

I sent a photo to the Sweetwater Daughter asking for advice.....she was able to get my head on straight!

Of course I should buy it!
So I did!

Mr. S was somewhat guarded in his enthusiasm for my bargain.
That might have been because he was the one who would have to pick it up, load it into the truck, and find a friend to help move it into the house. is hard to believe that a $20 piece of thrift store furniture would be nice enough to have in a main living space!
(actually this is an old TV and a lot of extra components before)
The parson's table is the furniture piece I was looking to replace.
Even Mr. S has to agree that this is a nice look....especially for $20!

The moral of the story:
if you shop at the thrift store often enough, you will find the diamond in the rough!

We are going to cut a hole in the back of the center area to put the Satellite box.
But for now...I am just gonna sit back and enjoy my bargain!

Have A Great Day!

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Banner Basil Crop!

 Basil is an all round wonderful herb.

 "It's elementary my dear Watson"
(do you get the Basil connection?)

Here are some interesting basil facts if you want to wow everyone with your knowledge about basil.

That would have to be wiser conversation at dinner than politics!


I had always been proud of my basil growing abilities....

and then for the last two years.....disaster!

My plants started out looking good...and then this happened.

It seems I had a I used new soil and pots this year!

Whatever was wrong before is no longer a problem!

You would think that this would be enough Basil for me!
One of the reasons that these plants look so full, is the constant pinching back that I do.

The snips of Basil (and Coleus  and even Rosemary) will send out new roots.
Just let the cuttings sit in a opaque container filled with water.
After about a week, you can pot these up.
The only thing better than a pretty Basil plant is a pretty FREE Basil plant!

Now I need YOUR help!
About the only thing I do with all this beautiful Basil is make Pesto or Caprese Salad.
I need some new recipes from you!
I would love to hear from you.

Have A Great Day!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Lighten Up!

You know how I always talk about making a vision a reality?
Well, this past week that happened here at Sweetwater.

 The golden brown or shall we say peanut butter colored walls in the living room and dining room have been the same for the last 9 years.

It seemed like a good update from the very traditional look that we started with.

 was time for another update!

I have been envisioning a much lighter pallette.

Did you know that WHITE is Benjamin Moore's Color of the Year for 2016?

So off to the paint store to get us some LINEN WHITE paint.

The purpose of this post is not to teach you how to paint....there are bunches of websites out there to do that....but here THE MOST IMPORTANT PAINTING TIP  Mr. S and I have learned over the years!

Use the BEST paint that you can!  
I will say it AGAIN!   Use the BEST paint that you can! 
We are fans of Hirshfields here in the MPLS area.... They carry Benjamin Moore Regal Select.
Even on sale it is $50 + a gallon.  In this case, thrifty DOES NOT make sense.

Look at how this expensive paint covers that dark paint in just two coats.
Think how much time and energy is saved by not having to paint the room 3 times!
Somehow....the second coat is an expectation....when it looks great it is a reward!
If you have to do a third is just plain painful...and you have to buy that much more paint!

I am pretty much over the moon with the way it turned out!

Truly, this is the reality of the vision that I had!
I love how the brighter room color makes the furniture and accessories feel almost brand new!
It was fun to "shop the house" to pick the right art accents that play on the lightened up attitude!

So.....what vision is floating around in your head....maybe you should find a way to make it a reality?

My way....includes a huge thank-you to Mr. S for all his hard work on the project!  Pretty remarkable after 3 months since his knee replacement!  His new knee climbs ladders way better than the old one!

Have A Wonderful Day!

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